tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 15, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PDT
good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt with msnbc's continuing coverage of the apparent terrorist attack, this in the french riviera city of nice. a large truck plowed into a crowd celebrating bastille day, killing at least 84 people, many of them children. over a dozen people right now are critically wounded in hospitals. french president francois hollande spoke to his country last night, calling for vigilance. >> translator: after paris in january 2015 and then again in november of last year, with
certainty, now it is nice's turn to be struck. but it is france in its entirety which is targeted by islamic terrorism. in such circumstances, we must demonstrate that we are very vigilant and our determination is unshakeable. >> french president hollande also announced that he has extended the nation's state of emergency, this for the next three months. he has vowed to strengthen attacks against isis in iraq and syria. now, the driver of the truck was killed by police immediately following this atrocity. authorities say the man was firing on the crowd as he slammed into them. we have also learned that truck was loaded with weapons and grenades. witnesses report the driver was purposely aiming that truck at the crowd, zigzagging so that he could kill as many people as possible. but so far, no group has taken responsibility for this attack.
police are still looking into whether there could have been an accomplice, but we do know this is the worst mass killing in france since last year's attack on several sites, the cafes, the soccer stadium, also the bataclan theater. in those attacks, more than 120 people lost their lives. we're going now to london. msnbc's lucy cav november joins us from there. what are we getting in terms of the latest numbers on the attack and the responses from around the world? >> reporter: good morning, alex. obviously a night of carnage in nice, france, today waking up to the aftermath of yet another devastating attack. this is actually the third in just 18 months, and this was supposed to be a night of celebration. bastille day is france's most important national holiday, the equivalent basically of a fourth of july celebration in america. families, tourists were out for the fireworks show, enjoying the evening, when a man plowed that enormous truck into the crowd. you're seeing the video there. this was about 10:40 p.m. local time. he drove for nearly a mile
across that busy promenade before he was shot dead by police. an act of terror according to french president francois hollande and one that didn't, alex, require bombs or explosives to devastate this nation. all it took was this determined attacker. now, we cannot confirm his identity at this stage, but french media, citing a police sort, is reporting that i.d. papers belonging to a french tunisian were found in that truck. another source telling nbc news similar information, that he was a french national of tunisian descent. the focus of that investigation now is to determine whether he was operating alone or had help. no formal claim of responsibility as of yet by any group although in some jihadist circles in social media we did see some cheering of the carnage. president obama condemning what he said appears to be a horrific terrorist attack. the french president also vowing to step up the military campaign against isis in iraq and syria. but, alex, that is likely to be
cold comfort for the dozens of families mourning the aftermath of this terrible attack. >> so, lucy, let's talk to people and explain what bastille day is. it is very similar to what we celebrate here, independence day. also as well in the way it is celebrated with fireworks and the like. can you set the scene for this horrific attack? what was happening prior to the attack, and then the similarities between what we did just, you know, a week and a half ago here in the states. >> reporter: very similar indeed. i haven't been to nice on bastille day celebrations, but i've been to that sea side resort town, and i can tell you on normal, ordinary weekends that's usually a crowded area. for this, this is france's most important national holiday. you know, people weren't working that day. people were gathering in the seaside area on this promenade by the water. families were out and about moments before this attack took place, there was a dramatic fireworks show. people were likely eating and
drinking and celebrating in the streets. and, of course, to have this attack come on such a significant day for france certainly sends a dark message to the country. it would, alex, be the equivalent of a horrific attack in the united states on something like fourth of july. it really, really does hurt the country where it hurts the most. >> yes, and we should say it all happened there on the promenade des anglais, the boulevard of the english is really what that says when it translates. that is a very, very popular place for tourists, obviously a place people would have gathered as it skirts the mediterranean. the most beautiful place to watch the fireworks right before this horrific attack. lucy, thank you so much for that. i know we'll check in with updates for you again. nbc's janet shamlian has been in nice, and as the sun rose in paris -- rather in france earlier this morning, she joined brian williams to describe what the scene was like just a few feet away from where that attack took place. >> reporter: usually -- i mean it's 6:00 in the morning here, so you wouldn't see big crowds out here. but people are running.
they're walking. it's never really silent here on this boulevard. people are definitely out at this point. i'm going to turn this around and give you a little better view. and there it is as you described. it is just so glorious, and this is about how it looks every morning in the summer. but this tranquillity shattered by what has happened here. i am at the negresco hotel, and where you're looking at is just about 30 feet to the right of the frame where the truck was. it was actually stopped in front of the hotel. i can't quite give you that perspective, but if you see that stop light down there, about 30 feet to the right of that. if you look out into the water, you see kind of that white awning. it's probably hard to see from that vantage point, but i can still see overturned bicycles, somebody's luggage, what you
would describe as evidence here that they will be processing. they will not let anybody out. i tried to get out on the promenade des anglais a few minutes ago. you can't come out. you can't walk along it. they won't let anyone take pictures. there you see a police car going by right now. they're still processing the scene here. it's going to be a long process, and they have shut this boulevard down, brian, for the better part of a mile and a half, which is a very long stretch of this beautiful stretch of the mediterranean. >> and, janet, going by your description earlier tonight, it's not going to be hard for you to see and encounter americans. i also imagine it's not going to be hard to find people who are in a kind of state of suspended animation and walking shock for what they've seen, been through, and god forbid if they're looking for someone. >> reporter: when i first got here about a couple of hours ago, the negresco hotel lobby was full of people that looked like they were absolutely that, in shock.
and the hotel had brought down blankets, and they were just sort of staring. they didn't look injured. they didn't look like they were looking for anybody. they were just in shock. and i think that we will start to see a lot more video. i described one too you earlier that showed the truck taking gunfire from police. the gunman in the front wearing a helmet with his head -- that helmet looking slumped over the top of the dashboard. and my guess is as people who fled the scene wake up this morning and realize all that's happened, that we will get a better idea of exactly how it unfolded from all those videos that surely were taken. >> and that was our colleague, nbc's janet shamlian speaking with brian williams. that was just a short while ago, at day break on the coast of the mediterranean in this beautiful place of nice, france. and look at the carnage she was
describing. it's pretty horrific. as for our president, he issued a statement last night about the attack in nice. the president saying, quote, on behalf of the american people, i condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in nice, france, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved ones of those kills, and we wish a full recovery for the many wounded. i've directed my team to be in touch with french officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. we stand in solidarity and partnership with france, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack. on this bastille day, we are reminded of the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made france an inspiration to the entire world, and we know that the character of the french republic will endure long after this devastating and tragic loss of life. that, again, from president barack obama in the wake of this
heinous crime. cal perry, msnbc's senior editor for video and digital content, joins me right now. cal, you've been covering this ever since it happened. let's talk about the social media reaction around the world. i mean this has gone global, and it seems to be the focal point of many around this world. >> it's gone global and after a long string of attacks in various cities. this one unique especially with the video. we've been showing our viewers sort of the same shots. it was so graphic, the way that people were killed. and there was a lot of children there. this was a place where families go, so we're talking about photos of empty strollers, things that we're just not going to show our viewer. we usually have this from 100 angles. that's why we're not doing that. that's all going to be part of this investigation. the other thing that happened on social media that's become a part of this story was france was overtaken by bad information when this story happened. we heard of a hostage situation in local hotels. there was no hostage situation. a fire at the eiffel tower. so we're talking about a nation very much on edge. and you heard lucy talking about how the army is now in the streets. this is truly a nation on edge.
they've seen three major attacks in 18 months, and that's being reflected all across the internet. >> what's so extraordinary as you pointed out, being there's so many people there. look at all the different kinds of video we have. the documentation of this attack, the fact that it was a truck, and people could see it approaching, hear the screams, and then watch it in the aftermath, all the carnage. >> one other thing we have to say, and you talked about july 4th. the fireworks had just ended. so when the gunfire started, so many people have said they were completely stunned because they didn't know what was happening and the amount of confusion that was going on was tremendous. people had flooded into the street from that beach. >> can we talk about the gunfire? this is the driver driving his truck, plowing through the crowds there. and then was he shooting at the same time by reports, or did he stop the truck and exit the car? >> from what we know -- and, again, early in this -- police shot at him, and at one point he was stopped and surrounded by police. he took out a pistol. this is according to french
television, and fired at the police and then mowed people down for another half of a sort of kilometer. this crime scene is two kilometers long to give you an idea of why that death toll is so high. and another thing. the ambulance workers -- and they've had to bring in psychiatrists -- were so upset because there were not very many wounded there. 84 dead, and only 16 people in krit cal condition. people were just slaughtered. >> if you look at this video we're showing, you do see this white truck moving at great speed. and i mean you see something like that to begin with, it makes no sense. you would think, well, maybe somebody has lost control. somebody has had maybe a medical emergency while behind the wheel. but there is no mistaking this. i mean it was intentional. the description of zigzagging through the street. >> and one of the issues was -- and everyone who has been to fireworks can relate to this. everyone was packed on that beach. fireworks had just ended. people stream into the street, so the street was packed full of people. there was a stampede. >> were police trying to get
people to move down to the beach? >> to the beach. >> there's an area there, and i'm familiar with the promenade des anglais. you can actually go down a series of stairs that are placed along there and get down to the beach, which would have offered safety. >> the beach became the mass casualty site and the pictures you see of the helicopters were ferrying wounded off that beach to the hospitals. that beach became the safe haven for the police and any wounded that had sort of survived this attack. >> and when you say two kilometers, cal, that was the beginning of the carnage, and two kilometers later is where that truck came to rest? >> you and i have sat here for two weeks covering horrible stories, and we want to show our viewers from 100 different angles. we have 100 different angles of this attack but the nature of it was so horrifying, so brutal, civilians, women and children being dragged by the equivalent of an 18-wheel truck going 30 miles an hour through a sea of people. >> and that's what it was.
look, there's the truck right there. >> there it is coming. you're going to see it speed up. we cut away from the video and one of the things we're blurring out there is a very brave police officer trying to get it on a motor bike, and he gets caught up in the wheels. and you see security running after the truck. at this point the police know what's happening, but the people ahead of the truck have no idea what's coming down the street. >> and committee with hear audibly the screaming getting louder and louder. >> right. and again i can't stress this enough because you're going to see photos of this. families, empty strollers, empty push chairs. we're talking about a sea of kids that had gone to see these fireworks which had just ended. and again from eyewitness accounts, we know that a number of the people, including the children, didn't know the difference between the fireworks and the gunfire. they didn't think anything was happening. >> but a truck like that, that in itself was a killing machine. >> and what was in the back of the truck? the interior minister has said explosives and long guns, rifles, which are not easy to get in france. they're incredibly easy to get
in the united states, but in france long rifles are difficult to get. and explosives. so was there a bomb to go off at the end of this attack? we heard the french president say it could have been worse. 84 dead, and everyone is thinking how in the world could this have been worse? what was in the back of that truck? if it was rigged with some kind of explosive to then explode, it's crazy. >> cal perry, i know you're not going to stray too far. we've got a lot more to discuss with you. thank you so much for this first discussion. we are also going to have a lot more ahead for all of you including what the ramifications are of another terror attack overseas and what that will be here at home. will things change here at home in terms of our security. we'll take a look at that. stay with us here on msnbc. beo shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization.
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welcome back, everyone. i'm alex witt. 12 hours ago in the beautiful seaside resort town of nice, france, life was calm. it was wonderful. people were enjoying the bastille day celebration that is their equivalent there in france to our fourth of july when this happened. again, almost 12 hours ago. this white truck with a man being described by french media as a 31-year-old french-tunisian behind the wheel there, plowed as you can see into the crowds of those revelers having just watched the fireworks display there over the mediterranean. this is on the promenade des anglais. it is a very, very popular area there in nice, the site of many historic parades and celebrations annually there in nice. and we know that some 12 hours
ago, that driver plowed that truck through that group of people celebrating as they were leaving the fireworks display. 84 people are now dead. there are at least 50 people injured, 18 critically and fighting for their lives right now. a bit earlier this morning, my colleague, brian williams, spoke with robert joannes. he was an eyewitness to the attack. >> he was having drinks with some friends on a rooftop balcony on the promenade, minding our own business. and what happened was is that after the fireworks display, there was a few occasional odd fireworks made by individuals on the beach. so obviously we stood up to have a little look, and there was a few laughs and people getting rather excited on the beach. but then we noticed the truck traveling 60 miles per hour, 70 miles per hour. obviously he took a very obvious -- he veered onto the main strip of the promenade des
anglais where the pedestrians are walking, and it was clear from after about ten seconds of him driving, that it wasn't -- it didn't look like an accident. it was more kind of aimed at pedestrians. that's when we just followed the truck and in the space of about ten seconds, and the 20 people that had just been mowed down by the truck. the truck kept going up to the top of the promenade des anglais, and that's essentially when we -- >> when we first heard reports of this tonight, we were praying that it was a case of failed brakes or a transmission locked up in gear. did that -- did that occur to you? was it just so obvious by the physical motion of the truck, perhaps the trajectory back and forth, that it was intentional? >> sure. i mean i think with most things, you always hope that's the case.
i think -- i've obviously never seen anything like this. initially you do -- you do think, you know, maybe is it an accident, a stroke or a heart attack. but it was quite obvious already dawes the promenade des anglais, it goes around a slight angle. and to see a truck follow the angle all the way around, obviously looking at the aftermath, it was clearly obvious after about a good 10, 20 seconds, that it was no accident. like you said, you always do hope that it is. but sadly, that's not the case. >> and that was my colleague brian williams' interview with eyewitness robert jones there in nice. brian levin is a terrorism analyst, professor of criminal justice at california state san bernardino. brian, with a welcome to you. so you heard brian williams bring up that point where at first when something like this happens -- i mean it is a truck, and you think, oh, perhaps this is somebody who has had a medical emergency. it was very apparent shortly thereafter by the eyewitness accounts and by everything that
we've seen that was not the case. but as you've studied criminal justice and the level of terrorism that we're dealing with here in this country, how unique is this m.o., this motive operation? >> a great question. we've seen it in theater in places like syria. there was also in quebec, in 2014, someone who tried to join isis ran over a couple of people. about 10 years ago in 2006, we saw someone in north carolina run over and severely injure about nine people. and both "inspire" magazine, which is al qaeda's web zine if you will, internet magazine, they've encouraged their followers to run people over. and isis has done so as well a couple of years ago. >> so this is obviously -- i mean, i know when i was taught how to drive and having my children learn how to drive, you
know, you make the point that an automobile can be a killing machine. i mean if it gets out of control. but this particular truck, it was laden with explosives. all this is according to the french media and reports from the interior minister and the president of france, that the back of that truck -- ask this looks like a semi truck here, like an 18-wheeler. maybe not quite that large, but it's a massive truck. the back of it laden with explosives, grenades, and the like. so talk about that. is it likely there was an intent to blow that up? did something perhaps go wrong in this person's plan, master plan, when he was shot at by police and ultimately killed? >> right. and here's the question that i have. was the truck laden with explosives which would make the truck itself a -- which we've seen in the first world trade
center attack, also the oklahoma city bombing in april of 1995, which killed 168. or were these individual types of incendiary and bomb devices which were meant to throw into a crowd? that's what i want to know. but in any event, what i think this indicates is this attack was a bit more sophisticated than what we first thought, and that there are probably co-conspirators running around. that's what i want to know. was it grenades, or was it something like ammonium night rate and fuel oil? either way, he wanted to just not mow people down. he wanted to shoot them and use some kind of explosive device to further the casualties. and i agree with president hollande, that it could have been far worse. >> mm-hmm. so inside this box truck with these explosives, i mean how easy is it for somebody to obtain these kinds of materials in france? >> alex, excellent question. it is quite difficult to obtain
those kinds of materials in france. of course, to the extent that there are criminal syndicates which have been connected to terror recruitment, it makes it a little bit easier. but it's much tougher to get those kinds of heavy weapons and explosives in france. again, depending on which devices we're talking about, it's also tough in the united states, but even tougher over there. excellent point. >> yeah, but, brian, we should say that no one has yet claimed responsibility for this attack. i mean we know that this 31-year-old tunisian-french national was the person driving the truck. he has been killed by authorities there. but we do know that all sorts of websites around the world are celebrating this, the jihadist websites. is this what people fear most in the law enforcement community? if this is a lone wolf, someone who is merely inspired by isis?
>> we certainly -- we certainly fear lone wolves. let me tell you, though, in the united states i think the probabilities are tilting a bit more to coordinated attacks even though -- when i say more, more than in the past. certainly lone wolf is the bigger threat here in the united states, but it's tilting up a little bit for more coordinated attacks. that's what we've seen here in the united states. my sense, though, is because of the explosives and the weaponry, that there are co-conspirators which leads into your question as to why i think oftentimes isis or daesh does not claim credit. one of the reasons is they have -- there's something called propaganda of the deed, where the timing and location and instrumentalities give you an idea of who's doing it. the other thing is isis sometimes doesn't claim responsibility right away or they wait so that if there are co-conspirators, those tracks
can be covered. but as you said, i was just looking before i came on, and the jihadist websites are celebrating. they're saying france deserved it. >> brian levin, that's a sobering thought you share with us. we will speak with you again. thank you very much, brian, for joining us from philadelphia. placoming up, we have more eyewitness accounts of this horrific attack in nice, france, so stay with us.
it has been about 12 hours since unspeakable horror was unleashed on revelers there in the french coastal city of nice, france. folks who were just out celebrating their version of our fourth of july. it is called bastille day there. it happened july 14th. every year is celebrated with fireworks and parties. there were many fireworks there along the coast of the mediterranean. many people out enjoying that night until the unthinkable happened. brian williams spoke last night with an eyewitness, terry clark. she was just sitting on the grass right in the middle of the promenade there when that attack occurred. terry has lived in nice for the last 20 years and describes when she first realized something was dreadfully wrong. >> i was sitting just outside the negresco in the middle of the promenade. there is a green patch to separate the two traffic lanes. and there was no traffic today because it was totally pedestrian zone. i was just sitting watching the
fireworks. the fireworks ended, and then lots of people were coming up from the beach and just crossing the promenade to get to their cars or to get home. and then just out of the blue, this big white truck just came speeding down on the side i was sitting on and went up onto the pavement and just kept zigzagging down. and i mean i was just following with my eyes the truck. and then when i looked back, i saw all these bodies just on the ground just in front of me. and then everyone was screaming, and everyone was just like, you know, get out of here because they were afraid that there was bombs in the truck. so we all just started to go towards the center back from the
promenade going towardis the train station in that area. and it was just a sea of people. i mean it was just mayhem and all the small children screaming and terrified. it was just -- it was -- it was unreal. i mean i have never experienced anything like that. it was just really like being in a war. it was horrible, absolutely horrible. >> and that was terri clark, a 20-year resident of nice speaking with brian williams earlier this evening. we're going to have a lot more on this breaking news out of nice, france, for you. we'll get the latest details on the investigation next.
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31-year-old tu -- french national of tunisian descent was in that truck that you're seeing right there. these pictures provided to us by eyewitnesses. there's a tremendous amount of video of this horrific attack, and we're being very judicious in what we are showing you. but there you see it, what happened. the result of that box truck plowing itself down the promenade des anglais, which was filled with revelers who had just finished watching a beautiful fireworks display for their independence day. it is called bastille day in france. it happens every year on the 14th of july. a result of that white box truck plowing through crowds, 84 people have lost their lives. over 50 people are injured, 18 of whom are in the hospitals right now critically fighting for their lives. let's go to nbc's lucy kafanov joining us from london. lucy, what are the updates from there, and what has the reaction been from officials.
>> reporter: good morning, alex. just to sum up the latest as we have, as you mentioned, at least 84 dead. dozens injured. nbc is still working to independently confirm the identity of that attacker. but french media citing a police source is reporting that i.d. papers belonging to a french-tunisian were found in that truck. another source also telling nbc news similar info that he was a french national of tunisian descent. the focus of that investigation now is to determine whether he was operating alone or if he had help. no formal claim of responsibility by any group. the french president, francois hollande, convening a meeting of his security council this morning. he is expected to travel to nice later today. france also expected to extend the state of emergency in that country by three more months. if you remember, that was put in place after those devastating paris attacks in november and were set to expire july 26th. as i mentioned earlier this hour, barack obama condemned this attack, offering any assistance that france might need to investigate and bring
those responsible to justice. pope francis also weighing in, lending his support with the vatican condemning what it called senseless violence of hatred and terrorism. now, belgium's prime minister, of course, that country had its own experience with devastating terrorism. belgium's prime minister convening that country's national security council to make sure that the right security measures are in place for belgium's national holiday, which is scheduled to take place next week. and the french president also vowing to step up the military campaign against isis in iraq and syria. and just to remind our viewers, this is the third terrorist attack that france experienced in just 18 months. this was supposed to be a night of joyful celebration. bastille day, as we talked earlier this hour is france's most important national holiday, the equivalent of a fourth of july celebration in america. so a devastating night of carnage for a country that was in a mode of celebration, now waking up in mourning.
>> i can imagine what are the head lieflines like in london. i'm sure you've seen some of the pap papers. these horrible pictures with bold headlines. >> reporter: absolutely. officials are investigating these attacks. britain was very busy dealing with its own political crisis when it woke up to this devastating news of terrorism. obviously the united kingdom is looking into seeing whether any of its citizens were potentially caught up in that attack just as all countries are, including the united states. no details emerging right now as of yet confirming those victims' identities, but this is something that affects not just france obviously, but the entire world. we're obviously living in an era where terrorism is global. it knows knno borders skprk it' always a frightening thing to experience an attack like this because it does leave the impression it could strike anywhere at any time. >> you make a very good point that those in great britain, they're looking to see if they have any nationals there.
the same is being done here in the united states. there have been reports of some americans being affected by this. we do not have confirmation of that. until we do, we will refrain from saying definitively that americans have been involved. lucy, in london, thank you so much for that. meantime, politicians and lawmakers in the u.s. responded certainly swiftly to last night's bastille day attack. the president released a statement that said, in part, quote, i've directed my team to be in touch with french officials, and we have offered any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice. we stand in solidarity and partnership with france, our oldest ally, as they respond to and recover from this attack. as for the candidates, donald trump made the surprising decision to postpone his v.p. announcement. that event was set to take place later this morning, 11:00 a.m. eastern time. however, mr. trump said it would be inappropriate to do so following the bastille attack. and while nbc news has confirmed trump's pick will be indiana
governor mike pence, trump himself threw cold water on that last night when speaking with fox news. >> i had a news conference planned for tomorrow, and out of respect for this horrific situation, i just think it was inappropriate to have the news conference tomorrow. so i postponed the news conference, and we'll announce tomorrow when it will be. let me just say this. i have great respect for governor pence, but i also have great respect for newt. i have great respect for chris, chris christie. we have some tremendous people in the republican party. but i'll be making the announcement at the appropriate time. >> and mr. trump has now told donors to reiterate what he said there that the v.p. announcement will be made over the weekend despite pence's travel to new york city and the election filing deadline that he faces in his home state of indiana. that deadline is later today. but trump also made sure to demand congress declare war on isis. echoing president obama's sentiments when he asked congress for a new authorization
for the use of force against the terrorist group just last year. >> we need law and order in our country. we need to stop with the borders. we need to stop allowing people to come into our country who we don't where they're from and who they are. and now hillary clinton and obama want to allow more people into our country. what are they doing? >> well, hillary clinton likewise said that the west is clearly at war with the deadly terror group. >> we still do not have enough intelligence cooperation between our agencies and those in other countries, including in europe. we need strong, tough diplomacy, starting with our friends, to do on a bilateral basis with individual countries, collective with the eu, with nato and others, to do everything we need to be prepared to work with each other, to ferret out these
terrorists and to prevent future attacks. >> and then there was former house speaker and v.p. hopeful newt gingrich proposing a test for people in the u.s. of muslim backgrounds. >> western civilization is in a war. we should frankly test every person here who is of a muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported. sharia is imcompatible with western civilization. >> additionally gingrich says those who access any terrorist website should be punished. >> anybody who goes on a website favoring isis or al qaeda or other terrorist groups, that should be a felony, and they should go to jail. any organization which hosts such a website should be engaged in a felony. it should be closed down immediately. our forces should be used to systematically destroy every internet-based source, and frankly if we can't destroy them through the internet, we should
destroy them with kinetic power. >> gingrich's comments come as republican congressman peter king has called for the surveillance of muslim communities. >> i think we have to forget about hurting people's feelings. there are people in the muz wlim community. it's a small minority but they are there. i think if we hold back, it's looked upon as a sign of weakness. we have to have more sus surveillance. >> let's bring in msnbc's cal perry. we should describe cal's job here as being the senior editor for video and digital content. and to that point, part of your job is to go onto these websites, addressing mr. gingrich's comments there. >> sure. >> and look and see what is being said and get us that kind of information. >> sure. so no reaction yet, okay? but i can tell you what's going to be said about gingrich's comments, is we told you so. isis has said in their magazines that this is going to happen in america. that america is going to try to expel muslims, that there's going to be a division in society, and this is what makes
the comments dangerous. now, obviously they're in a political context. i don't know. he's trying to be trump's v.p. he's somehow making him look moderate. but this is a problem when you look at the international ramifications of it and the use of term "kinetic energy" is receiving a lot of attention in the east. this is a place where much of the region is in constant war fair where we've had millions of people fleeing violence. people are saying this happens every day in syria, people who live in that region. so the comments by newt gingrich have been incredibly inflammatory to the middle east. >> let's talk about what you were able to find there out on the internet in terms of the support for people from around the world. >> incredible. from new york city to paris to so many of the places that have seen attacks, we saw here in new york city the top of the entire sort of authority authority looking down fifth avenue in the colors of the french flag. we've seen an outpouring of support from the german government which has raised its
alert level. its place are alert. we have seen an outpouring of support around the world, and we've seen various hashtags as we always do. #doorsopen in french, where people have opened their doors to anyone who needed to take shelter. i mentioned before these misreports about this hostage situation. we called some of the hotels. what they said to us was, no, not only is there not a hostage situation, but if people need somewhere to come, they can come here. >> we're getting reports of people who had hotel rooms overlooking this scene here and the beautiful waters of mediterranean, and they were bringing complete strangers. ten, 12 people coming into their room, packed in, everyone looking at each other thinking what have we just witnessed? >> france has seen four terror attacks in 18 months. we had the "charlie hebdo" attack. people opened their doors. november 2015, we had the horrible attack on the bataclan theater. people opened their doors. we've seen this time and time again. in france especially we've seen this outpouring of support within the community, a rallying within the community. this is a country with a large muslim population that has an
issue of a divided society. but after each one of these attacks, we see the opening of doors. >> yes, and they say people always coming together. it, in french -- [ speaking french ] that happened in november of last year. another thing, people coming to rush and do what they can to help. i love the story of taxi drivers descending on the area saying get in the car. we will take you where you want to go to get you out of here. >> right, and the sacrifices that the security personnel made. we are hearing stories of them putting themselves in the path of this truck, trying to fire into this cab to kill the driver. and we've seen video of the driver managing to sort of continue down this horrific road after security forces have fired numerous rounds, dozens of rounds. so we had not only shopkeepers and restaurant owners, but the security in paris -- excuse me -- in nice just really rallied together. and we're seeing that now. people have put up online these stories of people staying on shift. and this is a country that's
been on high alert. the maximum alert level that france allows for months now. >> mm-hmm. >> and people are staying on shift. >> talk about this actual street, the promenade daes angla anglais. i mean this on this night would be closed to commercial traffic certainly, something that would be used by this large white box truck. it was closed actually to any traffic because it's pedestrians. there were people swarming that area, looking at what was happening there over the mediterranean, looking the at the fireworks. >> this is a place with tourism, right, which is becoming a hallmark of these type attacks where you have tourists. i wish more people knew that this was closed to vehicular traffic, that vehicles were not allowed down this road, because there was so much confusion, there was a lot of foreigners along this beach, along this road. that's why you have so many foreign governments checking on their citizens, british government, american government, because there were so many tourists there. i'm not convinced at all that people knew what you knew, was this road was closed to vehicular traffic. people you can see in that video
are incredibly confused. it's such a bizarre situation right after fire works to have massive gunfire and this truck barreling through the crowd. >> it's obvious now. hindsight is always 20/20 in a situation like this. i'm wondering how long it took people to gather their wits about them and realize what was happening. >> if you go online, you'll find the story in a lot of news organization, especially french organizations, have put together survivor stories. the hundreds of people who huddled in shops, expecting another follow-on attack. and we had all of these reports that maybe there was a hostage situation. we've heard eyewitnesses saying, you know, in the back of our heads we were expecting potentially an explosion. we now know there was something in the back of that truck. so the story of survivors who huddled in those restaurants, terrified, not knowing what was going on. >> could have been a one-two punch. >> for a long time because remember the gunfire lasted for a long time. 10, 20 minutes. which i can't imagine being in that situation. it must seem like a lifetime. >> yeah, absolutely. and what was in the back of that
truck, that could have been -- unleashed untold horror, further horror. you had explosives. you had grenades, ammunition. >> and this attacker was firing a pistol while driving this vehicle through a sea of people. one of the things that's happening -- and, again, this story has a really gruesome edge to it. one of the things that happening, you heard lucy says nbc hasn't confirmed the attacker. people have the i.d. of a p 1-year-old tunisian male. >> someone who was known to police for petty crime. >> but it's such a gruesome scene, they can't i.d. the body. >> okay. well, that puts perspective right there, cal perry. i will see you again shortly. just ahead, everyone, we're going to have some new comments from the french prime minister. we're also trying to confirm whether or not there were americans involved in this horrific attack. stay with us here on msnbc.
welcome back to our continuing coverage of the attack in nice, france. we are now getting confirmation that at least two americans were killed in the attack. they are 51-year-old sean copeland and his 11-year-old son, brody. they're from lakeway, texas. that is a city not too far from austin. there you see a picture of the family, and they're again, 51-year-old sean copeland, and
his 11-year-old son brody having been killed in this horrific attack that happened some 12 and a half hours there on bastille day while those people were celebrating and watching the beautiful fireworks display over the mediterranean. a very tragic thought indeed as you look at this beautiful family that has been decimated with tragedy. meanwhile, french president hollande has convened a security council meeting this morning, and france's prime minister has just made a statement following that meeting. >> translator: once again, france has been hit by a terrorist attack. coward, inhuman terrorist attack. and our thoughts in this very difficult moment go to the victims and their families affected by this unbearable act. we're facing a war which terrorism has declared on us and is waging on us, and the goal of terrorism is to create fear and panic. france and the french president has reminded us of that
yesterday is a great country and a great democracy that will not allow itself to be destabilized. >> we're going to continue our coverage here at the top of the hour. stay with us. short break on msnbc. when you don't get enough sleep... and your body aches... you're not yourself. tylenol® pm relieves pain and helps you fall fast asleep and stay asleep. we give you a better night. you're a better you all day. tylenol®.
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